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PSC Alumna Kista Crites helps mask the Catamount mascot

Kista Crites in the WVU Potomac State College Catamount mascot suit

Kista Crites, a recent graduate of the College, was an active and engaged student while on campus. Now as an alumna, she’s still helping out and stepping up by branding and customizing an extra, extra, extra-large mask with WVU logo and colors for PAWS. The College is conducting a “maskot” campaign asking faculty, staff and students to share who they wear their masks for during the COVID-19 pandemic. PAWS wears a mask to keep the entire campus community safe. Michele Labar is the seamstress who created the mask for PAWS.


“Nothing in life was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If Emerson coined this phrase in present day, he might well be describing Kista Crites, a non-traditional student, who is energetic and passionate about people and community. When she makes a commitment and gets involved, she’s all in .

After graduating from high school, she joined the United States Air Force (USAF). She was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, and Okinawa, Japan. After her time in the USAF, she worked for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Japan. She also started a family while in Japan where her oldest son was born.

Crites’ love of children moved her to earn associate degrees in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education from WVU Potomac State College. In 2019, she was presented with the Birth through Pre-K Early Childhood Education Outstanding Student Award. In May 2020, Crites continued at Potomac State to earn a Regents Bachelor of Art (RBA) degree and received the Mauzy-Harris History Award.

As a student at PSC, Crites immersed herself in the campus culture. She was a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) serving as treasurer and president. When called upon, she gladly stepped into the P.A.W.S. costume and assumed the role of campus mascot.  

Crites is a member of the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society and has been on the Dean’s and President’s Lists several times. She also worked as a PSC Student Ambassador for three years, as a tutor in the Academic Success Center and as an office assistant for the PSC Office of Enrollment Services.

When asked about her experience at PSC, Crites stated: “I have enjoyed my time at Potomac State and made many life-long friends. The faculty and staff are amazing. They all genuinely care about the students. They support you and make sure you succeed.”

Crites next phase in her academic career— “I plan to attend WVU to obtain a master's degree in special education with a dual certification in history.”